There was a good post on Get Rich Slowly recently about fanning the entrepreneurial flames in your kids. The author suggested connecting money making ideas with your kids’ interests (as opposed to just making money for the sake of making money), supervising the set-up of their business but giving them enough room to fail since failure can provide some of life’s best lessons, and more.
One major omission from the article was age-based advice. The age at which kids get interested in making money varies, and it can be a turn-off to push a kid into selling lemonade when he or she is much more interested in sipping lemonade. Our six-year-old is showing a lot of interest in earning money—our four-year-old, not so much. One of my favorite resources for understanding what kids can typically understand about money at what age is on my site (scroll down to “Teaching Kids About Money” and click on “Teaching Kids Age 2-18”).
I also think kids need guidance as to what to do with what they earn, with specific instruction and even requirements around giving, saving, and investing portions of what they earn. I was entrepreneurial from a young age, doing all I could to earn money. I pulled weeds, mowed lawns, had a huge paper route, de-tasseled corn (grew up in a farm town), and more. But I just as enthusiastically spent all that I made. Unfortunately, I didn’t get interested in doing more productive things with money until I dug myself deeply into debt.
For more on encouraging your kids to be entrepreneurs, the Get Rich Slowly article recommended two books: What Color is Your Piggybank (geared to kids in grades 6-8) and The Totally Awesome Business Book for Kids (for kids ages 8-14).
What entrepreneurial lessons did you learn when you were a kid? If you’re a parent, what, if anything, are you doing to teach your kids about making money?